In refugee camps the world over, many toilet and sanitary blocks are unlighted, unsafe, and not secure – especially for women and girls. Blocks of toilets are often affected by broken doors and locks, and placed in proximity to or within view of male facilities. With more than 1% of the world’s population now living in displacement, improvements to sanitation and safety in refugee camp settings will keep people safer and more secure.
In order to increase toilet usage, feelings of safety and security, and reduce incidents, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) launched a campaign with Wazoku Crowd to find new solutions with which to retrofit existing toilets around lighting, locking, and alerting. The IRC are looking to provide a tamper-proof lock, renewable-powered lighting, and data monitoring to toilet facilities in displacement camps.
IRC is a global humanitarian aid, relief, and development nongovernmental organization. Working in more than 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities, the IRC helps those affected by humanitarian crises to survive, recover, and rebuild their lives.
Toilets in displacement camps vary across the world, but they are usually simply constructed, sometimes even from temporary materials or from corrugated metal sheets. The IRC was looking for ideas from the Wazoku Crowd around three key categories of a long-term solution each with their own prizes if they met the acceptance criteria.
- Lighting – automatic and dimmable lighting, irremovable, and powered by renewable energy
- Locking – methods to lock and provide secure, tamper-proof cubicles that offer privacy and comfort
- Alerting – systems for alerting when a toilet is in use and when in need of maintenance
The response was phenomenal, with 218 Solvers from 60 countries showing interest in the Challenge to propose ideas to improve female latrines in refugee camps. 113 submissions from Solvers from 44 countries, were made. The IRC have chosen to award seven Solvers from seven different countries to fuel their work to improve the experience of women and girls in emergency settings.